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Fat-Tailed Gecko - Hemitheconyx caudicinctus Fat-Tailed Gecko - Hemitheconyx caudicinctus

Equipment Required to Keep a Fat-Tailed Gecko  

Vivarium

Viv-Exotic VX24, this is big enough for an adult or pair.  VX24 available in Beech, Oak and Walnut

 

Lighting  

Is for viewing only we would recommend a PT-2110 Sun Glo Neodimium Daylight lamp 60 watt combined with an Arcadia ADCH reptile lamp holder.

 

 

Heating

PT-2045 Ceramic Heat Emitter Heat Wave Lamp 40w and a Komodo Ceramic Fitting. Combine this with a Habistat Pulse Proportional Thermostat; this should be set at 87–90 degrees Fahrenheit during the day and turned down to 70-75 deg F during the night.

We recommend two thermometers PT-2465 place one at each end to show the cool temperature and hot end temperatures to indicate that there is a heat gradient effect.

 

 

Substrate

For baby Fat-Tailed Geckos we recommend wallpaper backing paper, Kitchen paper or newspaper for the first year. As they can get compaction of the gut by ingesting substrates, like Calci sand, sand, peat, corn cob, beach chips etc. After a year old the best substrates are playpen sand, Calci or Desert sand.

 

Décor

Use a PT-2851 Reptile Hide Out Cave Small for youngsters and a PT-2853 Hide Out Cave Large for adults. A PT-2801 Water Bowl is required along with two or three plastic plants, these will give the Vivarium that finished natural look, choose from PT-3000 to PT-3052.

 

Calcium and vitamins: Exo-Terra Calcium +D3. Exo-Terra Multi Vitamin Powder.

Many reptiles require a diet based on live or fresh foods, due to their specific feeding habits. These are readily available, but in themselves do not offer a balanced supply of nutrients. To ensure your pet receives a properly balanced diet, it is important to increase the nutrient content of these foods with a nutrient supplement.


CARE

 

Housing:

Fat tailed females may be kept in groups or singly. Males must not be housed together or serious fighting resulting in serious damage to one or both, even death. We suggest housing males separately from females to avoid excessive breeding and stress. Glass enclosures work best for viewing. A 24” x 12” enclosure is the minimum size for an adult.

Rocks, fake plants, and logs for basking and hiding are preferred enclosure furniture. Make sure ample cave space is available, both on the warm side and cool side of the enclosure. Substrate choices can include play sand, newspaper, bed-a-beast (coconut fibre), and peat moss. Fat-tails like to burrow in slightly moist substrate to rehydrate, so we use combination of coconut fibre and peat moss.

Heating/Lighting

A range in temperature is much appreciated by geckos so they can thermo regulate. Temperatures may range from 90° F down to 75°F at night-time. We suggest overhead bulbs or ceramic heat emitter for heating. Place the heat source on one side of the tank only. Red bulbs are nice for viewing nocturnal geckos. Don’t use heat rocks.

Water:

Make sure a shallow water dish is available inside the cage at all times. We also suggest lightly misting the enclosure daily. Make sure the substrate is never wet for long. When a fat tailed gecko is preparing to shed, they appreciate moister caves. We suggest using moss that can be misted daily inside one of the caves.
One method we suggest for keeping fat-tails hydrated is to use about 4-inches of substrate where the lower inch of substrate always stays damp. This way the fat-tails can retreat from the heat to thermo regulate and to rehydrate as well. Providing a hide that consistently stays cool and damp allows for higher basking zone temps and thus increases the metabolism of the fat-tails.

Food

Crickets and mealworms make up the majority of the Fat-tails diet. Hatchlings should be fed 2-week-old crickets. Adults can handle adult crickets. Mealworms may also be offered. Be sure you acquire your crickets from a clean source and feed them fresh food (you may use "gut load" if you like) and water. Don’t offer mouldy food to your crickets (this can cause serious disease). Small pinkie mice may also be offered to adults occasionally. Gravid females especially relish these.

Be sure to supplement the diet with calcium and D3 and vitamins. We suggest a 1.3 ratio of Nutrobal to Komodo calcium. Place crickets in a plastic bag, add the supplements and shake to coat crickets. Do this every day for young geckos and then taper off to twice a week for adults (especially reduce the vitamin supplements). Make sure to offer more calcium to gravid females.

Breeding:

Fat tailed geckos require a period of hibernation or brumation. Only breed your geckos after temperatures are back to normal, and your gecko is healthy, eating well, and has a substantial fat deposit (a nice fat tail). Your females should be at least one year old. Introduce a female into the male’s tank (or even vice versa) and copulation may take place. You may opt to leave the male and female together overnight or for a few days. It is thought that they prefer to breed in the early evening hours, but we have witnessed copulation at just about any time. It’s normally best to remove the male from the female’s enclosure after copulation to avoid stress. A female will retain sperm and can produce multiple clutches from just one breeding. Eggs are usually laid in twos. Make sure the female has a lay area (cave) with moist substrate to dig into to deposit her eggs. Gently place eggs in a dish of moist vermiculite and incubate at around 85 degrees F. The eggs will hatch in 45-90 days. Make sure the vermiculite stays moist but not wet.

 

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